Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Mascherano praises David Ngog

Javier Mascherano believes David Ngog has a bright future ahead of him at Anfield after the rookie striker netted his first Premier League goal for Liverpool in Tuesday's 2-0 victory over Sunderland.

In his first league start at Anfield, the Frenchman opened the scoring after 52 minutes to cap an encouraging performance from the 19-year-old.

"It was very important for David to score because he is a young player and this goal will give him more confidence," Mascherano told the Liverpool Echo.

"You can see in every training session that he is working very hard and when he is given his chance in the team he has to try and take it and by scoring a goal and doing a good job for the team he can be happy with his performance.

"It is really good for him and I am very happy for him because he deserved his goal."

The victory over Sunderland has taken Liverpool to within four points of Manchester United at the top of the table, although the leaders have two games in hand, and Mascherano admits it was important for the Reds claim the win and attempt to banish some of the memories of Saturday's demoralising defeat at Middlesbrough.

The midfielder, who was deployed in an unfamiliar right-back role on Tuesday, acknowledges it will be difficult to oust United from top spot, but insists Rafael Benitez's side will attempt to do all they canuntil the end of the season.

"Obviously we were really disappointed with the result at Middlesbrough and we knew that we needed to win against Sunderland," said the Argentine international.

"We are not as close to Man United as we would like to be but we have to carry on fighting to see what happens.

"There is no point in looking at the standings in the league table, all we can do is concentrate on every game, try to win them and then see what happens.

"We had some chances in the first half but could not score and maybe the supporters and ourselves were a little bit nervous because in the last game we could not take our chances.

"This made it important that we scored in the second half because we knew this would help the team to play well and allow the people to go home happy.

"It was an important victory for us and we are still fighting. At the time being we are fighting for second place with Chelsea and after that we will see what happens."

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